Travel for work is seeing a steady week-on-week recovery on the booking platform. Air travel, flexible bookings, and simplified processes are the need of the day.
Corporate India is back to travelling for work with 100 per cent recovery across Pharma, Healthcare, Real Estate and Biotech sectors, according to trends noted by MakeMyTrip, one of India’s leading online travel platforms. There is significant recovery in many sectors, including Manufacturing, Defense & Space, Logistics as well as utilities with professionals returning to travel for work. MakeMyTrip’s recent market study on the recovery trends for the corporate travel segment further indicates that sectors including Financial Services, IT, Consumer goods and Automotive will see relatively slower recovery and are likely to be the last to see a complete recovery as far as corporate travel is concerned.
The market study further indicates that two-third of the corporates who returned to travelling were sales representatives, followed by professionals in consultant and leadership roles. Currently, 50 per cent of the travel bookings made on MakeMyTrip’s corporate travel offerings – are being made for client meetings, followed by visits to vendors and distributors, and factories or manufacturing plants. Data indicates nearly 90 per cent travellers prefer staying at hotels within close proximity to the office – that also follow adequate safety and hygiene protocols. The remaining 10 per cent were those who prefer booking a guest house or service apartment. Travelling by air continues to remain the most preferred mode of travel with merely 10 per cent professionals willing to travel in their personal vehicles for work.
With the pandemic bringing along long-term changes in travel booking behaviours for good, planning and booking behaviours of corporate travellers have also undergone some changes over the course. Flexibility for travel bookings is the number one priority for travel administrators and travellers alike. Considering the ever-evolving scenarios around the pandemic, corporates prefer searching and booking flights and hotels closer to the date of travel –with 40-45 per cent of bookings being made within a week of the travel date. Some of the other offerings actively searched and opted for include travel insurance, COVID-19 health insurance and bookings with zero or minimum cancellation charges.
Commenting on the steady recovery seen within corporate travel segment, Raj Rishi Singh, MakeMyTrip Chief Business Officer – Corporate travel, shares, “As the second wave started to ease out July onwards, we began noticing an upward trajectory in travel bookings from medium and small business enterprises followed by professionals from large corporates. While recovery has definitely been slow within this segment, considering corporates continue to work remotely, corporate travel is returning steadily with consistent week-on-week recovery. We have enhanced our existing corporate travel solutions and have attuned products to the travel requirements post the pandemic. Our priorities included improving discoverability of travel options basis travellers’ preferences and past booking behaviour and offering a smooth post-travel experience of filing and seeking approval on reimbursements, among others.”
While health and safety remain a top priority amid the pandemic, access to travel solutions that offer a stress-free post-travelling experience with regards to filling reimbursements has also emerged as one of the key requisite of new-age business travellers. To help corporates do away with the tedious process of filling travel expenses, MakeMyTrip recently launched a new Expense Management (EM) feature for myBiz users. The tool allows corporate travellers to easily upload their travel expenses for reimbursements with a single tap on their mobile devices. The platform also allows travellers to also upload other expenses including mobile, meal, cab, laundry and others. The end-to-end expense management platform helps hasten the overall process of claiming reimbursements, approving claim requests and processing reimbursements making the process easier and more hassle-free.